In the wake of allegations, governor establishes task force to review state sexual harassment policies
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards has announced plans to establish a task force to review the current sexual harassment and discrimination within state agencies.
The governor made the announcement Wednesday in the wake of allegations directed at one of Edwards' former deputy chiefs of staff, Johnny Anderson. Last month, Anderson resigned after the governor's office began reviewing a sexual harassment complaint reportedly filed against him.
The seven-member board is tasked with reviewing current harassment and discrimination policies within every state agency that falls under the executive branch, as well as researching and identifying the most effective ways to create work environments that are free from any form of harassment or discrimination.
According to the governor's office, the duties of the task force members include the following:
- Review the sexual harassment and discrimination policies of each state agency within the executive branch.
- Research and identify the most effective mode of training to prevent workplace sexual harassment and discrimination and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing video state employees are required to view each year.
- Develop a protocol for sexual harassment and discrimination policy orientation for new employees, those participating in any state sponsored training academy and employees promoted to supervisory positions.
- Research and identify the specific conduct that should be prohibited by sexual harassment and discrimination policies.
- Research and identify a clear reporting process when an allegation is made as well as the most appropriate action that should be taken once an investigation is completed.
The task force will make specific recommendations to ensure uniformity of sexual harassment and discrimination policies across the agencies and submit a report to the governor regarding its findings no later than March 1, 2018.
Further, before January 1, 2018, all state agencies within the executive branch are to review their policies relative to sexual harassment and discrimination and submit a detailed report to the commissioner of administration.